Way too involved with software, likes maths, loves . Prefers to be in academia. SpaceX, Twitter, and Overwatch fan. Coffee? https://ko-fi.com/fractaldoctor

You’re a software engineer, you’re at an interview, what telltale signs should you be looking for that may indicate a questionable employer?

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1. No interview room has been booked in advance

Companies are in business and they survive (usually) by making money. Well, if they’re not ‘disruptive’ startups, quangos, or a department of the civil service, but hey I digress.

Making money is generally associated with having at least a modicum of organisation and an offshoot of this is being able to furnish the interview process with a room in which to hold meetings.

I’ve been there. Admitted to a building, met the interviewer in a busy corridor, been led on an impromptu tour of said building looking for a vacant meeting room. Booking failure mode engaged.

Whilst this failure could…

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Software engineering interviews nowadays often involve some kind of coding test or programming exercise and I think that’s a very Bad Thing. Here’s why.

Lazy Tropes

Asking software engineers to perform a particular task such as writing an algorithm to generate factorials (a very common one) or to sort a [singly|doubly] linked list can be easily memorised beforehand and offers no insight into a candidate’s skill other than their strength of rote memorisation. You may as well ask the ASCII code of the character ‘A’.

The detailed solutions to many such exercises are widely available online in various reference materials and, in…

This is a strategy that fails not only the company but also, more importantly for you, the employee.

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Why People Resign

People leave their jobs all of the time, it’s nothing new. And neither is it as frowned upon as it would be in generations past when often jobs were considered as jobs “for life” and people would say that “you’re lucky to have one and you should be grateful.”

Fortunately, the onus has changed somewhat with the happiness and fulfilment of the employee now taking more focus in the workplace. …

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Does the generation of set resolution fractal objects offer an insight as to how future programmable matter may be manipulated? Once again Star Trek may have foreshadowed what may be coming.

Iterated Function Systems

In a previous article examining the possible relationship between programmable matter as described in Star Trek: Discovery and the underlying nature of spacetime as a continually rewriting hypergraph structure I volunteered that it reminded me of iterated function systems (IFS) as method of constructing fractal objects.

Briefly, and loosely with the mathematical definitions so we don’t get too bogged down, IFS are a method of constructing fractal objects using…

If underlying spacetime is a constantly evolving graph like network of nodes, is it possible to deliberately rewrite the network to fashion, literally, anything?

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The Concept of Nanotechology

In the recently debut of the third series of Star Trek: Discovery we see a 32nd century Federation using programmable matter in many forms from customer user interfaces to detached warp nacelles.

The canon explanation reveals its nature as “consisting of minute nano-molecules, the matter had the abilities of redistributing and redesigning itself into pre-programmed shapes.”

This idea has been popular in science fiction for some time with nanomachines or nanobots being a popular trope for…

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It’s common knowledge that few people read profiles before messaging you on LinkedIn, but here’s an easy way to tell if you’re getting a mass mailed message or a genuine personal one.


I do spend more time than I should on LinkedIn. This is, however, not by design. …

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Many ‘motivational’ memes are repeatedly posted on social media sites these days to further self-promotion and outdated philosophies with little thought to their actual meaning, relevance, or adverse effect on the platform.

Let’s take a look at ‘No Pain No Gain’ as an example.

Does the End justify the Memes?

Social media networks have become conduits for meme propagation, far more so than personal updates or career advancement in the cases of Facebook and LinkedIn, for example. Scrolling through either produces a list of sponsored posts and memes that far outweigh those that relate to the original intended purpose of the platform.

My previous article ‘Influences…

Have influencers finally laid bare the ultimate end state, the grand attractor, of current social network platforms?

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An Attractive Proposition?

I tend to view pretty much everything in my life as a complex system — one that evolves from an initial state over time to some kind of final form. My ‘lens on life’ coming mostly from my background in fractal systems, now some time ago, and it’s become a judgement methodology that has stayed with me and grown over time.

I recently came across an article on the BBC News website that made me think about social networks — “‘I’m sick of…

Has the advent of mass communication combined with a raging pandemic brought upon us a very real Great Filter?

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The Great Filter

The Fermi paradox, named for the physicist Enrico Fermi, describes the apparent contradiction between the vastness of the universe and the probability of their being detectable life in it versus our inability to detect any actual sign of it.

One of the possibilities as to why we (as a species) aren’t able to see anyone is that there’s actually no-one out there to see. Other than we are the first to evolve to this point, there is conjecture around the existence…

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With undeniable expertise in genetic engineering why did Davros seek the final form rather than steering Kaled evolution toward a more ambulatory one?

It’s impossible to deny that the Daleks are one of the most menacing and ruthless adversaries in the history of science fiction, but one key stage in their development, by their creator Davros, has always puzzled me.

The Bunker on Skaro

During the classic 4th Doctor episode ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ the Time Lords foresee a time whereby the Daleks have ‘destroyed all other lifeforms and become the dominant creature in the universe.’

The Doctor is then sent back in time…

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